This graceful little shrine is the Altar of the Divine Inner Child! Your authentic self, beyond all masks and personas. That part of yourself that is true to his/her feelings, express joy and sadness alike, without feeling shame, creative, spontaneous and free from the critical self!
The inner child is the golden, magical child of the Soul. It is the perfect child of the Divine that lives within you : innocent and pure.
Within ourselves, behind our masks and acquired personalities, we have an authentic
self, the Golden Inner Child. It is that part of ourselves that feel alive, energetic, creative, free,
joyful and fulfilled. Through the conditioning process of life, most of us learn to stifle, suppress,
repress or deny our inner child. When this vital part of us is not nurtured and allowed
freedom of expression, a false or co-dependent self emerges.
A great deal of time and effort has been put into creating an acceptable and powerful
ego and persona. Indeed, this is necessary for your primary survival and as a way of
functioning effectively in the world. We need to protect our vulnerable self,
at times hide our true feelings and build up a thick skin.
To communicate skilfully and masterfully; to be part of a community
and to negotiate our way through the many layers of society and its
rules and expectations.
But this sense of power is not authentic, and it will not hold up to stress and stressful situations.
As long as this acquired ego is based on fear, it does more harm than good.
In fact, the safe place that you have created for yourself, becomes your jail.
For instance, as you defend against being hurt, you cut yourself
off from your vulnerability and your real heart feelings.
Eventually, you cannot feel sadness and pain, but you also cannot feel ecstatic joy either.
The human psyche thus experiences the onslaught of these two powerful opposing forces at all times.
On the one hand you have your authentic self, whom has only your highest good as a focus.
The True Self, however, does not adhere to the laws of this world,
but it adheres to the Divine Law of One.
The ego or projected self, on the other hand, understands that it is the vehicle
and the instrument to keep your body and mind safe.
It serves your ideas of yourself, your perceived identity, your
personal goals and desires.
So yes, it is not the enemy, but without
the loving and compassionate guidance of the authentic self,
without the unconditional love which is your deepest
Essence, the ego will stifle you and stop the flow of the living waters
of the Soul.
In order to discover what it is that you, as personality, want and expect from life,
you need to uncover your personal unconscious. This is often termed as shadow work as you uncover all your hidden and suppressed aspects of self. Once you have uncovered your personal unconscious you are able to deal with it. You have the power of choice and free will as to whether you want to keep or discard these suppressed values and feelings. You learn to grow this process using discernment as opposed to judgement and the challenge is to live with the tension of the known as well as the unknown at all times. You cannot eradicate certain aspects of your being and you have to learn to use these to their highest potential. In this part of the journey you decide what it is that you value and you build a strong sense of self which will serve as a powerful and healthy vehicle for the True Self. This work is done on all levels of being, spiritual, mental, emotional and physical.
As you access aspects of yourself from the personal unconscious, you will access aspects of the collective unconscious. You will uncover the beliefs of your culture, your ancestry, your gender, your faith, and so on. Often we live symbolic sacrificial lives because of keeping an archetype alive in the collective unconscious. Once again, you have the power and choice of freeing yourself from the collective unconscious to the degree that you need or should choose to. At this part of growth, spirit and matter meets. It is to discover what it is that I want (ego as masculine self) and what it is that I want (soul as feminine self). This is where you will truly feel the power of the opposing forces and it is your challenge to find a sense of balance and integration.
The True Self does not judge. It acts from the premise that all is innocent. It is free of hostility and defensive attitudes and behaviour based on negative experiences of the past.
The False Self, comprising of the various voices of authority and conditioning, judges everything. The False Self believes in the premise of separation (divide and conquer).
As the True Self develops through the different stages of the personality and physical self, it becomes stunted at specific ages. Our Inner Child therefore never matures and heals. Unless you become conscious and aware of your own actions and behaviour, you will not realize that you are nursing a wounded inner child.
The ego will rationalize and justify the behaviour of its wounded inner child, and in fact, many childish behaviour are quite acceptable and, in fact, part of the norm of our society.
The Real Self feels vibrantly alive – it does not matter whether the feelings are those of guilt, anger, irritation or joy, but it FEELS. When you are in your true self, you are present and aware and you are in the moment.
One does not have to do anything in order to connect with your Self – it is to allow your true self to emerge and show itself and not to contrive or act in a way of should, ought to or must.
The journey of wholeness entails entering the dragon’s lair, getting to know its darkness and fears; making friends with the dark feelings and pain. Eventually you will be able to seduce the dragon into becoming tame enough for you to kill it and to retrieve your treasure : your golden magical child.